Saturday, September 22, 2012

Barracks Row Fall Festival 2012

For the past decade, Barracks Row Main Street has worked tirelessly to preserve and enhance Capitol Hill’s historic 8th Street SE commercial corridor and to revitalize its business community. The group’s focus is the five blocks of 8th Street that stretch south from Pennsylvania Ave SE to the terminus of 8th Street at the Washington Navy Yard along M Street SE. Barracks Row is located eight blocks east of the U.S. Capitol and includes the oldest post in the Marine Corps, hundreds of historic buildings plus forty international restaurants. Barracks Row Fall Festival was held this past Saturday in conjunction with the DC State Fair featuring the 9th Annual Military Culinary Competition; a petting zoo with llamas, goats and hedgehogs; and performances from nearby Trapeze School New York at treetop height on “silks” all day long.  Closest Metro is Eastern Market.

The baby pig was so cute! And the llama had pretty eyes.
Marines show off their equipment and gear.
I have lived near Barracks Row for over 5 years now, and remember when there were only a handful of restaurants and dive bars, with a liquor store or hardware store sprinkled in between.  Now, it is bustling with more and more popular restaurants, organic markets, pet stores, and specialty shops.  We walked through the Fall Festival and here is a photo recap of some foodie shots:

Decorate your own caramel apples.

Chocolate City Beer

Cupcakes galore!

Various food trucks took advantage of the closed off streets.

Whisked desserts.
Whoopsie desserts.
The 9th Annual Military Culinary Competition, was also held as part of the Fall Festival, outside of Marine Barracks. Tours of the Commandant’s home, Marines in period costumes, the Drum and Bugle Corps, the Silent Drill Team, the always popular Marine Corps mascot, “Chesty,” Redskins Cheerleaders and Miss DC (Miss America Pageant) were present throughout the day. Fifteen teams competed in a mystery box competition. As one team finished another team took that tent – so always 5 teams were working. The top 5 teams then went head to head in a championship round for top honors and prizes. Prizes included: First Place – $1000 per person, a week at the Culinary Institute of America and Chef Jackets from Chef Works; Second Place - $500 per team member;Third Place - $250 per team member.  One of the sponsors was Eloma Ovens, so the chef teams used Eloma equipment in the tents.

Finished plates ready for the judges.

It was fantastic to see the community come together and celebrate the ever-growing Barracks Row!  Next time I would love to be able to be one of the culinary cook off judges - the creations looked so unique and delicious.  I enjoy seeing people who are as passionate about food as I am.

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